Speaking of Nice Guys™

Check this out from PassiveAgressiveNotes.com:

k, so court in michigan met this guy out at a bar. he seemed harmless enough, but court knew right he wasn’t her type. still, she didn’t have the heart to give him a flat-out “no” when he asked for her number. (she couldn’t give him a fake one, either, ’cause he the did the “dial his number into the phone and call” thing.)
says court: “the first time he called, i talked to him and decided right then i definitely wasn’t interested.” by the end of the conversation, she figured he’d gotten the message…but then he kept calling. and then, texting. when she didn’t respond, court says, “i assumed he’d take the hint…but i’m not too sure he did.” um, yeah, you could say that.

Um, scary. Entitled much?

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  1. Marc
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Regarding “just say no,” and “don’t be a bitch.”
    How about this: let’s apply the same rules of sexual initiation for dating or asking a woman out. If a woman says no, or is unsure about it, you stop. Is it so hard to, if a woman is reluctant to go out with you, or take a drink from you, to say “Well, if you change your mind, let me know,” and then you walk away and leave her alone? Take a freaking hint. It’s when dudes can’t get the hint that women start becoming aggressive in their rejection.
    Further, how about we start respecting women’s property and do not just walk up to a woman, grab her phone, and dial in our number, so she has it?
    You know the same boundries that some men ask for from gay men? Guys like Jason here need to start giving the boundries they ask for.

  2. llevinso
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    “In another problematic example, we are told that men cannot read our cryptic signals and body language, yet at the same time our tone and body language are the reason for us being verbally insulted.”
    Haha, I love this point of yours and it’s soooo true. I keep hearing (in this thread even) that guys apparently can’t read our subtle hints so we need to be direct. But when we’re direct we’re giving off too many of these subtle signals that we’re a bitch so then he can read those loud and clear!

  3. preppy
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    i guess they must be lucky. plain and simple. and that’s my honest answer. you know what? not everyone gets the socially appropriate response to their actions. i think sometimes guys just take rejection, sweet or nasty, too personally and get too pissed off about it. that isn’t a girls’ fault.

  4. SarahMC
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Yes means yes! — I think this is apt here.
    Why would a man want to go out on a date with a woman who isn’t giving him the clear signal she wants to go on a date with him? I know, I know, for some, the woman’s enjoyment is unimportant.
    Use the same standard (most) feminists promote for sex: if there’s no clear and meaningful consent, go away.

  5. Mighty Ponygirl
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Marc — I was sort of in the middle of writing a community page entry along these lines and I figured it would just devolve into a flamewar so I figured I would avoid it.
    But I think a lot of it is the “Nice Guy” tendency to obsess over one woman. If you spend all your time and energy trying to get one woman to take an interest in you for the evening, it’s not bloody likely you’re going to be successful. Then you get frustrated and turn into Jason here.
    If she says “no,” or she’s not really digging your action, the best way for you to acquit yourself is to excuse yourself politely and walk away. You can’t bully her into liking you, but if she sees that you treat her with respect and don’t act like a toddler when he’s been told “no” she may actually think a little better of you if there’s ever another opportunity to interact. In the meantime, you can go and hit up other women and maybe even impress one or two of them with your maturity.

  6. roxie
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Hah! I was going to submit this PANotes for a post. I’m in the comments on this post frequently. Lots of ppl posting there are giving the perspective of “no matter what you do, you’re still a bitch”.
    But there are still others saying “She was immature and should’ve just said ‘no’. She led him on” It’s frustrating.

  7. woogledesigns.livejournal.com
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure if that’s a Nice Guy™ and not just A Jerk (which is under Sharealike Creative Commons, unfortunately).
    Surely a Nice Guy™ is someone who ‘puts up’ with the blanking and then congratulates himself for oh-so-generously extending the right to ignore him, all the while secretly building up resentment against the person he’s done that ‘for’.

  8. Marc
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    You know, I find it rather sad that a safe space created for feminists – and particularly young women – has become a place where, because of misogyny apologists, young women (I am assuming you are one because of your name) have been silenced for fear of “flame wars.”
    Write away! :)

  9. Mr M. Crockett
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    From the perspective of this male, a straight NO if a woman isn’t interested in dating me is best.
    Whether that’s just a ‘NO’, or ‘I’ve already got a boyfriend’, or ‘sorry, you’re just not my type’, or whatever, then fine. It’s not going to happen. Yes, I’ll be rejected, and maybe a little sad, but, that’s my problem.
    Yes, there are some assholes who just won’t take no for an answer, but, that’s their problem…such assholes will probobly be assholes whatever approach you take.

  10. Zailyn
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Ha, the last time I got approached by a random creepy guy in the street he left me alone after I kept telling him I couldn’t understand what he was saying – I’m not deaf or hard-of-hearing but there’s still something that occasionally wreaks merry havoc with my ability to understand spoken language. I never thought it would actually be useful one day, but man, was I glad that I didn’t have to engage with that guy.

  11. Brian
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Asks a woman out (at all!) and one that he doesn’t know, nah, not remotely Nice Guyish. The real sort of defining character of a Nice Guy is that he doesn’t ask women out because he thinks men have nothing to offer women.

  12. Mighty Ponygirl
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh, not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment, but I wasn’t so much worried about the misogyny apologists (which Feministing polices pretty well) as I am about feminists mis-interpreting the point of the post and an unholy shitstorm of outrage and reprisals resulting therefrom.
    And bless your heart, young man. I’ve had the “Ponygirl” handle now for… um… close on to 20 years. I’m not as young as I was back when I first took it on. Now be a dear and hand me my Geritol and let me watch some Matlock. :D

  13. Marc
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I am just shocked that this Internet tube thing existed nearly 20 years ago. Consider my mind blown.

  14. daoist
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Rather than stringing the guy along, why not say “no”?
    Women are socialized to be nice to everyone, even overbearing guys trying to hit on them.
    But in cases like this, being nice just causes these problems. If you don’t like the guy, just say no.

  15. Mighty Ponygirl
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Not like it was now, at any rate. Ever hear of TN3270?

  16. roxie
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Please read the comments. This has been addressed over & over again. It’s NOT JUST being socialized to be nice.
    To keep telling women, “If you don’t like the guy, just say no.” is to ignore everything that’s been said and totally not considering its validity

  17. Gnatalby
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    There are so many ways women are socialized not to give a direct no. Just in case you are encountering the sort of man who flips from “want to go out” to “2 weak 2 defend yourself” in seven hours– the sort of man who might do you physical harm then and there is you deliver a direct no.
    So you know, no, I don’t think the lesson here is that she deserved this insanity for not saying a direct no.

  18. Aner
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    How to ask a woman out is one of those things I never quite figured out. Sometimes “would you like to go out for dinner” works. Sometimes not. Sometimes striking up a conversation at a bar works. Sometimes not. Sometimes I’ve had the pleasure of dating a woman I’ve been friends with and sometimes not.
    I figured that was the point. Sometimes a woman likes a guy. Sometimes not. I never really thought it was more complicated than that.

  19. Gnatalby
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    The fact that it doesn’t “always work”, is hardly a reason for not using something that works much better.
    Well, and a bunch of women are telling you what works better for them. So the fact that brushing someone off indirectly doesn’t always work is hardly a reason not to use it based on your male anecdata.
    Or maybe you’re not actually interested in believing what women have to say about the experiences they live?

  20. Gnatalby
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh no! It’s the tone argument! Ladies, consider yourself chastened.

  21. aleks
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Girls tell me the approach matters a lot. I don’t ask women out, so I have no opinion of my own on the matter.

  22. aleks
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    On behalf of men who don’t like and try not to play mindgames, thank you for the direct noes.

  23. chocolatepie
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I do not give two shits if he thinks I’m a bitch if he’ll leave me the fuck alone. I was nice and friendly to our office’s UPS guy until he asked me if I shopped at Victoria’s Secret, and now he does not get a smile and “how are you?” anymore. If he makes any more inappropriate comments, I will be reporting his ass to his supervisor and requesting a new delivery man.
    Embrace the bitchiness if it works for you, I say.

  24. MM
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    In my experience, hitting on and catcalling culture vary drastically from city to city. The experience of your friends, even if it is representative of the city you live in, may not be repersentative of the cities where other people on this blog live.Where I live now I probably get non-hostile reactions nine out of ten times. But utlizing the exact same approach in the last city I lived I would get called something horrible at least half of the time. Norms differ from area to area, and in many places in this country verbal abuse of women who reject you is totally normal.
    Even in terms of your friend’s experience: 10 times a day would probably be a little high for me, but I am gonna say I get hit on a minimum of six times per day. Even assuming a 90% non-hostile reaction rate, which is really generous, that means that at least once every other day I get verbally abused by a stranger for politely telling them that I’m not interested. Don’t you think that reacting to that problem would be more effective then telling women to reject men differently? To my boyfriend it would be a rare occurance that someone called him an incredibly offensive explitive in public, yet to me it happens every other day at best. And that, again, is assuming a 90% non-hostile response rate, so don’t try to tell me that I’m doing something wrong.
    On that note, I just have to say this. You may just be trying to make a point or ask a question about why your friend’s experience differs from that of other people. But the way you are doing it comes off as condescending because you are assuming that other people on this blog must be interpreting their own experience innacuratley if they differ from the one you are talking about. I am honestly not sure if you are a troll or not, because on one level you seem to ask questinos, but you also seem to think you know more than other people about their owm experiences.

  25. Aner
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Well the approach matters but, well what works for one person turns another person off. That was sort of my point. There isn’t any way to tell why someone finds you attractive and another person doesn’t. Sometimes it works and sometimes not.
    There isn’t any rule, any secret, any code. There isn’t any rhyme or any reason. This is as true for women as men. I said once somewhere else that twitterpation is a beautiful thing. I still believe that with all of the obstacles in the way of forming a relationship it’s a miracle any of us meet and fall in love. Ever. or at all.
    The “nice guys” that blame “women” as a group need to remember that old adage about finger pointing “for every one you point at me 3 point back at you.” Same goes for everyone at various points in time regardless of race, gender, orientation, or status. We don’t know what life has for us, but we have to be willing to accept it both good and bad.

  26. Aner
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Oh and the above comment was not meant to privelege one group of people over any other.
    Same rules apply for everyone. Only an insecure person blames another person for their faults. For the rest of us well it really is amazing that we manage to fall in love. Gay, Straight, trans, whatever. The fact that someone meets someone else and falls in love is a miracle.
    I think people forget that. Especially the kind of people that leave text messages like the one that sparked this thread.

  27. EKSwitaj
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Bad analogy. An employer has an established relationship with an employee. A woman does not have an established relationship with a dude who hits on her. Thus she has no obligation to reject him in a way that soothes his feelings.

  28. Liz
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    This whole conversation reminds me of a paper by Susan Ehrlich about a rape case at the University of Toronto.You can find it here if you have access: http://das.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/2/149
    The tribunal council constantly asks whether there was a miss-match of communication, putting the blame on the women involved because they did not make themselves clear enough. It gave the impression that the tribunal were practially condoning the guy’s actions because, obviously, he is entitled to sex if the woman doesn’t say no at every possible point!

  29. vmm
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    I have to admit I’m quite aggressive when a man approches me in public to ask me out. I always feel violated. I’m a really shy person and I have a generalised anxiety disorder. That sort of confrontation with a guy can leave me shakey for hours or days after it. It’s why I love my ipod.
    I once had a guy approch me when I was 15 and on my way home from school and ask me if I wanted have sex with him. I blew up.
    I think at least part of the problem is that women are cast as the passive party in all courtship. We’re supposed to wait to be asked out. Then we gatekeep picking and choosing who we’ll go out with. Heterosexual relatonships are so constraining that I don’t know if I want to bother. To be honest I don’t think I’d ever go out with any person who just sidled up to me and asked me out.

  30. mandoir
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Do you live in some kind of magical parallel universe where the persistence level of men in bars doesn’t increase proportionally to their BAC?

  31. BackOfBusEleven
    Posted August 14, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s extremely unlikely that every person in a bar, including the bartenders, would allow that type of behavior to go on.
    Did you see that video of two gay actors making out in a bar and a homophobic actor making disgusting comments to the unsuspecting patrons around him? Some people giggled uncomfortably at his hate speech, and others told him off. Nobody started harassing the gay guys with him. Most people simply aren’t that obnoxious in public, even if they have disgusting thoughts in their brains.

  32. thecynicalromantic
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I’ve always wondered… does ANYBODY, EVER, in the history of the entire fucking universe, ACTUALLY go out with totally random strangers who just sidle up to them on the street and go “hey baby can I have your number”? ‘Cos that just sounds like a Class A death wish to me.

  33. Cicada Nymph
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Or maybe he could have gone outside and waited around the corner…I just think trusting your gut instinct in these cases is the best bet with no clear “best choice” in every case. I had a friend who was punched in the face hard enough to require surgery by a dude in a bar who didn’t know how to take “no” as an answer so I disagree that just cause you’re in a bar you are safe.

  34. Cicada Nymph
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, this was supposed to be a reply to backofbuseleven’s comment that turning him down in the bar would have been a better choice…my comment doesn’t make much sense when not viewed as a response.

  35. Cicada Nymph
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Or maybe he could have gone outside and waited around the corner…I just think trusting your gut instinct in these cases is the best bet with no clear “best choice” in every case. I had a friend who was punched in the face hard enough to require surgery by a dude in a bar who didn’t know how to take “no” as an answer so I disagree that just cause you’re in a bar you are safe.

  36. asseenontv
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure I understand the headline “Speaking of Nice Guys.” It’s clear enough that he isn’t a nice guy.
    Is the implication that this anecdote proves that there are no nice guys? Or that there is no such thing as nice guy who is unsuccessful with women in part because he doesn’t feel comfortable hitting on them?

  37. Cicada Nymph
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe we had to have a discussion about how a woman should say “NO”. Nobody deserves verbal abuse. I don’t care if the woman grimaced and rolled her eyes or hinted at “no” and then ignored or said “no” and offered no explantation or used whatever tone…..Having to defend how we say “no” implies that there is a right and wrong way (which is not true and I have said “no” in a variety of ways and gotten negative responses for a lot of them) and takes the blame away from the name calling asshole and puts it on the woman cause she must not have said “no” in the right way…It reminds me of those ridiculous conversations over what the woman who got raped was wearing, if she flirted with the rapist or if she “should” have been walking that street at that time…. The blame lies with this guy and only him (he is the only one responsible for his behavior) and unless Courtney asks for tips with dealing with guys like this then I don’t see the point in discussing how she “should” have said no. If she wants she is entitled to roll her eyes and grimace and use a condescending tone without receiving verbal abuse. Is that a nice thing to do? No… (and she didn’t do that) but regardless, this guy is still responsible for his behavior. Plus, I want to point out that simply “hinting” at no may be used as a reason why a guy may ask a girl out more than once for a date if he really is the type of personality horrible at social skills or “reading” social language, but at no time does it explain calling a woman a “bitch”.

  38. Gesyckah
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    A few people have already asked this and I’m kind of late but how is that being a nice guy? A nice guy is the guy who is too clingy too early and bends over himself to get a date with someone. A nice guy would have gone all out on the first date, wondered why she wasn’t interested in a second, and then tried even harder to get her to go out with him. “He seemed harmless enough” is the only thing we get from this post. His creepiness was misogynistic psychotic jerk creepiness, not desperate needy nice guy creepiness.

  39. asseenontv
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I definitely agree. Lots of people don’t get hints or think you just want them to pursue them more. Some posters say that you shouldn’t say no because some men still won’t leave you alone. I think that’s a pretty bad attitude though. A lot of guys will go away after you give a clear no and they deserve an unambiguous answer anyway. If no doesn’t work you can ramp it up to fuck off.

  40. Cicada Nymph
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I just took the headline to be sarcastic….

  41. Cicada Nymph
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I just took the headline to be sarcastic….(the meaning being that this guy is/was not a nice guy)

  42. Cicada Nymph
    Posted August 15, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Ok-spoke to soon, it is also, I believe, a reference to this site:http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/niceguys/ng.shtml

  43. woogledesigns.livejournal.com
    Posted August 16, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Also, a Nice Guy™ would slowly and by increments befriend the girl with an ulterior motive and then resent the girl when she eventually rejects him for trying to turn a friendship into a relationship, because she’s “betrayed” his feelings for her.
    I think Nice Guy™ is a really great concept for men and women because it highlights how underlying sexist assumptions can make even seemingly positive actions actually quite pernicious and negative. But I think you have to be really accurate when you apply the concept else it looses it’s specific meaning and becomes less useful.
    Anyway, Brian. Assuming your username denotes you as male how would you have handled/role-play the situation?
    What I would have done would be send her a message saying something like “Hi, remember me? I had the teddy boy hairstyle and the Transformers shirt at the club. I really liked talking to you so was wondering if you’d like to grab a coffee and a bagel sometime, and we can continue to bitch about celebrity magazines? See you soon J.”
    And then, here’s my clever bit- I’d delete her number. That way I don’t feel disappointed because I have a sent message on my phone that hasn’t been replied to. When/if she does reply I feel a pleasant surprise and can save it then. It’s only human to feel blue if someone you like doesn’t get back to you, so you just take care of your feelings by not making it worse.
    If I was Court I would have probably met him and then later texted him to say he wasn’t my type, or texted in reply: “Sorry I don’t think you’re really my type- but it was nice meeting you and good luck in the future.” It is actually harsh (albeit in the nicest possible way), but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and be harsh. Ironically, Court was being passive aggressive (in a very normal and understandable way) by not responding- but she clearly had to right idea to keep clear of that guy.

  44. aleks
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Do you need help “making the switch to digital”? Public Television said I should offer to help.

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